Day: March 5, 2017

New in Philadelphia Inquirer: “Obamacare is unlikely to survive even if it is repaired”

In advance of our event at the National Constitution Center on Monday evening, the Philadelphia Inquirer published my editorial about the Affordable Care Act. My proposed title was “Obamacare Was Unraveling Before President Trump Took Office.” The Inquirer chose “Obamacare is unlikely to survive even if it is repaired.” It works.

Here is a snippet:

During his first address to Congress, President Trump urged the legislative branch to “save Americans from this imploding Obamacare disaster.” Steve Beshear, the former governor of Kentucky, dismissed this charge in the Democratic response but admitted that the law will “need some repairs.”

Neither was correct. Though not quite a “disaster,” yet, the law needs far more than mere repairs.

After nearly eight years of attacks from every conceivable direction, the Affordable Care Act is still standing, and millions of Americans now rely on its expanded coverage. Though the law itself has survived, we must be frank about both its significant benefits as well as its precarious future. Even before the 45th president was sworn in, the health-care reform had already begun to unravel.

Even if Republicans did nothing, and stood idly by, ultimately, the number of insured Americans would fall in light of higher premiums, fewer options, and contracted coverage. Insurance simply becomes a less worthwhile investment for more Americans. After only three years, the ACA’s intricate planning – designed to ensure the viability of the health markets – has already proven unsustainable.

Economist Herbert Stein’s rule applies forcefully to the ACA: “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.” Regardless of whether the Affordable Care Act is repealed, replaced, repaired, or left in its current form, the law could not survive through the next election.


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Media Hits and Events from 2/20/17 – 3/5/17

During the first three weeks of the Trump Presidency, I had over a hundred media hits. Fortunately, things have quieted down. Here are my media hits and events over the past two weeks.


  • Guest on National Constitution Center “We the People” Podcast to discuss the future of federalism (March 2, 2017) (Audio).

  • Featured on KIRO 97.3 FM Seattle, The Tom and Curly Show, to discuss Sanctuary Cities and Federal Funding (Feb. 28, 2017) (Audio).

  • Guest on Houston Matters, Houston Public Media, to discuss Texas Supreme Court oral arguments in Pidgeon v. Turner (Feb. 28, 2017) (Audio).

  • Guest on Cato Daily Podcast, If States Don’t Play Ball, How Much Cash Can Feds Withhold? (Feb. 24, 2017).


  • The Constitutionality of the Travel Ban, Faulkner Federalist Society (Feb. 28, 2017) (Post, Audio).

  • “The Future of Federalism,” event co-sponsored at the Georgetown University Law Center by the National Constitution Society, the Georgetown Federalist Society, and the American Constitution Society (Feb. 23, 2017) (Audio).

  • Unraveled: Obamacare, Religious Liberty, and Executive Power, Florida State Federalist Society Chapter (Feb. 22, 2017) (Video).


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